Our Independent Domestic Violence Advisory (IDVA) Service has qualified specialist advisors, who provide a free and confidential service to victims considered to be at high risk of harm from their intimate partners, ex-partners or other family members. The main priority of the IDVA Service is to increase the safety of victims and their children. The support we offer is intended to be a short to medium term service, which aims to reduce the risk of further domestic abuse and the effects it may cause.
Our IDVA Service is the primary point of contact for high risk victims of domestic violence who are aged 16years and above. We usually receive our referrals from the police, however we can also receive self-referrals from individuals experiencing domestic abuse. Working with individuals from the point of crisis, we are able to assess the level of risk, develop a safety and support plan, and discuss a wide range of suitable options. Including, safety options to keep victims safe and assisting them to explore legal and civil options to increase protection, as well as providing guidance and support through the criminal justice system and with other strategic agencies that can help.
Our IDVAs regularly attend the Swindon Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC). The MARAC discusses the safety and support needs of the individual and their children and aims to help high risk victims access local resources. The IDVAs will attempt to contact the individual before the MARAC to determine how partner agencies can best address the risk factors and needs. The IDVAs will represent the individual’s views and wishes at the MARAC, enabling a supportive action plan to be formulated to help protect and maximise the safety of the individual and their children. After the meeting it is typically the IDVAs role to follow up with the individual in order to relay the key components of the action plan
The IDVA Service is provided in a confidential, non-judgemental and non –directive manner, where our clients are treated with respect, dignity and sensitivity. The IDVAs aim to protect, encourage and empower victims to ensure their needs and views are heard by strategic agencies and within the criminal justice system. They help clients free themselves from abusive relationships, safeguard their needs and assist them to lead independent lives which are free from abuse.